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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  May 26, 2012 7:00am-9:00am PDT

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good morning, i'm melissa harris-perry. now i want to start this morning by thanking my hosts and the graduates of the all women's college wellesley where yesterday i had the privilege and the high honor of delivering this year's commencement address. while i provided those graduates with some words of wisdom as they go forth into the recession e k economy they face, i also willed them to take note that the degree they received confers upon them significant privilege, the privilege of an elite education, opening doors to more than employment and education and more education means better health, and greater civic participation and more esteem and influence, but quality education is not easily accessible nor are the privileges that go with it. the wellesley graduates are the recipient of the system that is a failure at the worst of the
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majority and the greatest at its best. so i was pleased that mitt romney was addressing similar concerns to the latino coalition's national summit. >> here we are on the most prosperous nation on earth, and many of our kids are getting a third-world education, and america's minority children suffer the most. this is the civil rights issue of our era, and it is the greatest challenge of our time. >> listen up, because you may not hear me say this often. on this one narrow point, mitt romney is right. and education is the civil rights issue of our era, but only if you extend our era back about 200 years. you see, throughout the 19th century, southern states made it illegal to teach slaves to read. in the 1840s, irish immigrants struggled to maintain control of their kids' education so they wouldn't be overly influenced by protestantism, and then congress
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made it illegal to teach native american children in their native languages. america has long been the train of inequality and control, so yes, mr. romney, edge skaucatio the challenge of our time and of all time. educational achievement is the most difficult achievement. thousands of newly freed slaves were trying to come into society to be equipped with thele toos to engage in civil life, but it created a system that provided poor white children in the rural south with their first opportunities for literacy. you see public education is the glue that holds the democratic process together, and it is the engine of social mobility, and the way we actualize the american dream or at least it is supposed to work that way. unfortunately the public in public education is endangered
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by the policies advocateded by mitt romney. he and others use the language of school choice, but choice means using public funds for private schools and means pinning the interests of children against the interests of students and it means stripping the choice of music, art and sports in order to focus on rote skills that can be measured and tested. and romney calls on more charter schools and vouchers for poor and disabled studentses to take the federal dollars to the school of their choosing, and choice sounds so good, but not every student can simply choose their way to a better education. romney has spent 35 pages outlining for us an answer, but it seems to me that he hasn't even asked the right questions. among my guests this morning are lila leff founder of chicago's umoja institution, and she spent 30 years working on the front lines of working with thousands of minority and underserved
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students and also at the table is daniel denvir who has been covering the biggest ongoing education story in the nation. thanks to both of you for being here. >> than foxer having us. >> here is mitt romney showing up in philadelphia quite in the middle of a night going on there and gives us a 35-page white paper. i read it. first seven pages, i totally agree wit. and the first seven pages the imperative of education reform and the fact that we are in a troubling circumstance and the fact that children and from minority and poor neighborhoods are having all of the problems, but how in page eight does it turn so different and what is going on in terms ofm rm romney conclusions that many of the reformers would agree on? >> what romney was doing in d.c. and later in west philadelphia is to stake out some ground to the political right of president obama when it comes to education. that's going to be a rather
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difficult task for him, because except for school vouchers use taxpayer funds to subsidize public school tuition, both president obama and mr. romney have embraced wholeheartedly the corporate education reformed a jen da which is unleashed by no child left behind in 2002, high stake stakes tests to judge teachers and schools and charters as the, the solution for failing urban public schools. >> right. we will touch on each of these, and because we are going to really take some time this morning, but lie la, i want to ask very specifically, i heard you say we are asking the wrong questions. that the part of what happens with this kind of charterization or privatization is that we are asking the wrong questions. what are the right questions to be asking about our system of education and its need for reform? >> there are a lot of them. we need to start by saying how can we surround young people with the support they need to be prepared to enter into our
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democracy? and i didn't hear anything in this report that answered or touched on that. it feels like the conversation that we are having is happening in polarities, and really in theoretical polarities, but when you look through the report and try to find real students living in high poverty cities and an answer for them in educational answer for them, it is simply not there. so i guess that another one of the kind of the right questions is how can we have school choice that allows all of our young people no matter what zip code they are born into, to have access to high quality education? >> and i'm wondering if it is not incompatible with school choice and let me back up a little bit because as we were talking about the history issue of irish catholics founding the catholic school system in the country, and in the case of the u.s. south, you can look clearly in city after city after the
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1954 brown v board of education, and there is a distance of the not only white families who moved their kids into the private city, but the states and the low kals, and they stopped building school buildings and as soon as you had choice, and integrated as a matter of law, the state opted to limit the quality of schools for those left behind in the public system is that what is reproduced in this case with more choice? >> part of the issue here is on both sides of the choice conversation is this either/or notion of what it is that will refo reform the schools so the idea with less money in a time of financial crises going to somehow going to require less money, if we only find the right group the run the schools whether it is public or private and the answer has to include what is the partnership of public and private in solving a
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tremendous time in little resource, and that is not entering into the debate. >> i think that the issue of asking the right questions which you mentioned is crucial. as you said there are incredible disinvestment in public education right now, and states like pennsylvania where i live and new york and throughout the country are making enormous cuts to the public school budgets. and while some charter doss do fantastic job of educating children, the data shows that they do not outperform and in some cases underperform the public school education. and while the charter movement has not been incredibly successful, they have had a debate to change the debate and changing the debate from core of funding, and segregation is still an enormous issue. a poor district like philadelphia spends about $13
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per year per pupil on students while wealthy and overwhelming white marian over the line spends $2,600. >> well, let me halt you there, because one of the things in the romney report is that we spend plenty omoney. and in the white page, romney says we spend plenty of money and more per pupil than many of the countries outperforming us, and the issue is not money and the liberals want to throw money at the problem, but money is not the problem. is that right or wrong? >> well, the point he makes which is that we have spent money poorly in the educational space through the years is a fair point to make, but the conclusion he goes to is then to say that we don't need money to solve the problems. >> so what is one way that we spent money poorly? >> a perfect example is the no child left behind where educational dollars were flowing into the schools with high needs, but they weren't getting students, but they were getting testing companies to prepare the
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students to perform well. if you looked at the individual student and the dollars that followed the student to bring them to excellence and to being competitive in the world, absolutely not. >> and so we are determining it by saying that we are sending the money to the schools, and the schools have so many students, and we are spending amount per pupil and it is going to be spent on tests to have metal detectors and security guards and -- >> the whole title i dollars which is the high poverty dollars is an interesting one, because if you look at a school choice and how it plays out in reality on the ground, there are certainly students getting a better education because of it, and then bereft neighborhood schools with fewer resources than they have ever had and less experienced teachers and less experienced principals and higher mobility rates and fewer dollars and they have to make the schools adds safe as they can, and they are not getting to the academic issues, and there are fewer dollars.
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>> i want to come back to pick up on the charter school's point that you were making and i want an advocate of the charter schools to the table to ask if charter schools are the answer or whether or not they are destroying the public in public schools. and in philadelphia, a plan to close dozens of public schools and the plan to privatize the rest, and you won't believe what some school districts are trying. that is after the break. [ male announcer ] what's in your energy drink?
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this week, thousands protested the state-controlled philadelphia state commission's plan to close 16 schools and offer up the entire school system to private management. the plan would make the philadelphia school district the laboratory for the corporate school reform movement. it could allow unprecedented access to millions of taxpayers
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money to charter management organizations in the effort to privatize the city's public education. joining us to discuss charter schools and their discontent is jonathan alter, and lila leff, education reformed a voe kate, and first to daniel denvir of the philadelphia newspaper to tell us what is going on. >> well, like the rest of the country, pennsylvania in the fiscal year governor tom corbett cut $1 billion the public education statewide and in philadelphia that has led to an incredible crisis. we have 3800 teacher and staff positions eliminated this year, and the state controlled school reform commission, and we have been under state control since 2001 have taken control of the crisis to propose what is one of the most radical dismantlings of privatization of public schools
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ever. >> and the one where i live in new orleans where we have been under state control called the recovery state control, and people think it is postrecovery is katrina, but it is not. and the state has been controlling the lsd, and in this case, the natural disaster rather than fiscal di ssaster t privatize and charterize most of the system. >> yes, in philadelphia, it is a a manmade di ssaster and made b the very same political forces and proponents of public education who are now proposing privatizing the system. and there was not kind of this big public democratic process about deciding how we as a city are going to confront the very real fiscal realities, but instead, we have shadowy outside people, one, organizations paying a boston corporate group of corporate consultancy with a clear pro corporate education reform stands $1.5 million to
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develop this plan. >> jonathan, you and i have had a many a green room shouting match about this discussion of charter schools and i'm no fan of them particularly from my experience of them in new orleans, but you are extremely passionate in your defense as charters as the way forward. >> well, not as the only way forward and they are not a silver bullet or panacea, because there are many bad charter schools, but the top performing charter schools about one fifth of all charter schools not only outperform conventional public schools, and remember that charter schools are public schools. so when you talk about privatization, you are in some ways the audience is being led to believe that charter schools are private schools, but they are not. they are public schools, so we need to distinguish between charter public schools and not talking here about private schools and conventional old fashi fashioned public schools. just to finish the point quickly, so that the top five, and they don't not only
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outperform conventional schools, but they crush them. the kip schools about 110 of them in the country, have graduation rate of 90% of the students, and the schools that the status quo schools often it is 20% graduation. and from the same population of students, same coming from the same single-parent families allowed in by poverty and not skimmed off of the top. >> well, that is exactly the debate, and in fact, that charter schools are public schools and in other words, they get public funding, but they do not have the same requirements to serve every single child. i know that you have been fundamentally involved in this in chicago. >> yes, it is a complicateded issue. because i think that the reality are that there are amazing charter schools doing amazing things and best practices to be learned from them, andb when we talked about creating charter schools initially, they were to be learning entities to feedback in and make all public schools better and in fact, the opposite has happened. is that a fault of the charter
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schools in not necessarily, but the reality is when the charter schools move them out and the kips and the noble streets and the whomever are willing to have frank conversations to say, in fact, not every student makes it in thele skoos and we have strong behavioral expectations and need high parental involvement, and the great things about the schools is that because a zip code is not determined to have a bad education, these are great options, but again, what happens to the students who are pushed out of the schools because they can't make it there? they end up back into the traditional schools that are not made from the charters. >> you made an extremely important point so that the challenge is not to turn every public school into the kip school, because the burnout rate of teachers does not make it possible to leverage up or scale up, but to borrow the best practices, and whose fault is that? some corporation's fault that the conventional public schools are not borrowing the best practices from the proven charter models? no, that is a failure on the part of the conventional public schools and why some of them do
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deserve to be closed. >> but isn't that a pitting of the folks against each other in a way -- >> no, pull up the socks in the other schools and start a adopting d. >> well, they don't need to just pull up the socks. >> well, they do. they need to adopt not all, but five or ten that they can adopt and instead, they are not adopting any of them. >> and jonathan, let me make this point, you said that the top performing charters are the models and among the best. >> yes. >> and it is true, wouldn't you admit, that the top performing public schools are the best educational opportunities anywhere, and -- >> well, first of all charters are public. >> traditional neighborhood public schools that are opened simply by zip code and having lived in a place of enormous privilege and i spent five years in princeton, new jersey n a highly unionized district where we paid exorbitant taxes, and we ended up with ecstatically
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wonderful traditional public school schools and all of the kids in the neighborhood walked over to the public schools like in the 1950s and that model to me suggest ed th suggested that the issue had as much to do with the set of assumptions about the quality of the school itself. when we say good schools, what even counts as a good school in i hear you on kip, but kip only ends up being a school of choice for those who are at the bottom. the fact is that wealthy parents still don't opt into kip over say their local private school or if it were truly like -- >> because they are not living in the inner cities where the kip schools are located. >> sure they are. >> i think it is rather misleading to talk about the top 20% of charter schools when the charter school movement very much led by people at charter networks like kip and mastery have pushed in states like pennsylvania and across the country to eliminate caps to charter school growths and that is caps to all charter school growths.
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>> and that is a great idea to eliminate the caps. >> yeah. well, this is why it is not a great idea. in the philadelphia area, we have 18 chaerts under federal investigation since 2008 for malfeasance ranging from the self-dealing real estate transactions to across the board at so many of the charters sky high executive compensation, to out and out embezzlement. in chester upland a nearly bankrupt district that is currently suing the state alleging that the inequitable funding that chester gets violates the constitution's state guarantee that every child has a right to a good education, and they are being cannibalized by a single charter school that -- and excuse me, can i e finish, that is run by a close ally of governor tom corbett, and they get 41%, and they enroll the majority of the district's k-8 students and get 41% of the private management organization gets 41% of the public taxpayer dollars going to the school. i discovered for the "city"
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paper that not only going to the politically connected buddy of tom corbett's, but the second in the command at the organization is this guy who has a longstanding ties to a convicted mob associate. i mean, there is no regulation at the district level, at the state level or the federal level of what charters are doing. i can have more examples. >> well, dan, glad you brought us there. because part of it that we will talk about as we come back is about teachers unions and you have felt that teacher yunions have been standing in the -- >> some of them. >> and some of them have been standing in the schoolhouse door of reform as you pointed out and the point here about the lack of accountability however in what is happening around the charter schools is a really nice connection, so coming up, we want to talk more about the teachers unions and whether they hurt or help in the education refo reform and add another voice voice to the conversation. and later, the people of egypt are voting and it looks like the
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we are talking about edgebication, and you are looking at a live picture now of vice president joe biden deliver ing the commencementt address at the military academy at west point. so as we dissect mitt romney's educational proposal unveiled this week we find a familiar republican boogeyman, the teacher's union, and this is what mitt romney calls a "chant for every child." he says that america is gridlocked in a antiquated system ruled by teachers and unions and that i are on the front lines to fight initiatives tot a tract and maintain the best teachers and fight measure schoos of accountability and limit choices to parents. joining us now are new york city public schoolteacher and
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self-described union activist meghan berrent. and we were talking in the break that the fact that no one thinks that the broken system makes sense, and everyone is thinking that we are need reform, but there was a time when i was coming up where we had general a agreement across democrats and republicans and rich and poor that the teachers were underpaid, and we had a belief that the teachers were sort of good folks who were working hard and generally did not make enough, and that is why you brought the apple to the teacher, and then felt suddenly that the discourse shifted and instead of how do we attract better teachers with better working conditions, it turned into teachers and the interests of teachers are pitted against the interests of the students as if what is good for the teacher is bad for the student? am i missing something here? >> no, it is crazy just how much of this teacher bashing has become national pastime and obviously frustrating for teachers who spend their lives
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in classrooms dedicated to providing public education to s suddenly find yourself the scapegoat for any possible problem that exists. and so i think that it is time that we have to shift some of the narrative and remind people that teachers are the front lines fighting for our schools and that the interests are not in any way counter posed. the starting point of even how i see the role of a teacher's union fighting for the educational justice is so ta that our working conditions are our student's learning conditions, and so the two go hand in and hand because i have a union is why we can have a classroom cap, and without that, there is nothing to prevent that. it is because we have some of the protections that we can advocate for the students, and i think that there is an incredible role that teachers unions can play in fighting for the interestses of the students and we are being attacked for all of the wrong reasons,
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because that is the role we play. >> and the teacher bashing is take a toll, because i meet teachers all of the time who are thinking of leaving the profession, because there is an obsession right now with increasing the use of high stakes standardized tests to measure teacher evaluation, and even though the research on that shows that they are highly instable and inaccurate and the obsession of getting rid of the low-performing teachers and when you look at the countries with relatively high performing across the board, what you will see is that there is a greater problem in the u.s. with retention, and retaining and attracting the teachers and the other countries pay their teachers better. >> there are perfectly reasonable people who would come to the side of hearing the reasonable union arguments if some of the low performing teacher issues were address ed by the union. so right now people who are demonstrated profoundly inappropriate with the students and we know they are not
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qualified forrer the job, and the very, very bottom percent and it is such an eye catching place that it is reasonable that people say, i don't get it, the union is not reforming itself and protecting people at all costs. >> so the focus goes to the bottom. >> and part of it is that you started with what other questions should we be asking, and the first question is not this bad teacher narrative but why is 50% of teachers leave within the first five years and we are losing way, way more good teachers and this is a much more central problem, and even if you look in terms then how do you allow the teachers to be the best teachers you can be, and you can't be the best teacher you can be if you have 170 students a day, and if you have no real role in the school community. if you look at finland and one of the top ranked edgebication systems in the world, and they don't have an evaluation system. they have a system that allows teachers real roles in the school in te terms of shaping t curriculum and collaborate learning environment, and they
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don't have that problem, and we should learn some lessons there. >> from the top of the class of the college graduates and we are not. we are drawing the teachers from the bottom. >> yes. >> and i'm a huge supporter of teachers, and i have been involved for 15 years in donors choose which helps teachers with classroom supplies and i have always thought that teachers are badly underpaid and this idea in pennsylvania of the republican governor cutting $1 billion from public education is insane, but having said that the interests of adult interest groups are not always congruent with that of kids. we have to ask what's best for kids, not what is best for the adult interest group, and they are not always the same. so what we need is a grand -- what we need is a grand -- >> and we should not always pit them against each other. >> well, no, but part of the pitting is that partly because every time somebody criticizes the teacher unions, we are teacher bashers. we are not bashing the teachers, but critical of some and not all, but certain practices of
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the union to protecting incompetence who are inflicting educational malpractice on the students, and we need grand bargaining and a lot more pay in exchange for a lot more accountability and not necessarily through a standardized test, but broader assessment of the teacher quality. >> and coming up we will talk about the other central issue here which is about segregation, and maybe you don't believe it, but new york city's public schools are the most segregated in the country. that is up next. people have doubts about taking aspirin for pain. but they haven't experienced extra strength bayer advanced aspirin. in fact, in a recent survey, 95% of people who tried it agreed that it relieved their headache fast. visit fastreliefchallenge.com today for a special trial offer.
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here in new york city, half of the public schools are more than 90% black and hispanic making new york one of the most segregated school systems in the country behind only dallas and chicago. segregation may no longer be the law, but it is in so many schools the reality. back here with me are lila leff, and jonathan alter, and megan behrent, and daniel denvir and once again, jonathan and i were in a shouting match over it. and that is where i want to go because it is a passionate subject, and nobody thinks that what is currently happening -- and this is the point, i agree with the first seven pages of the romney white paper and nobody thinks that what is happening at this moment is sufficient, and even as i was doing the introduction i looked around the table and i realized that my goodness in most of the cities in the country, even if they are white majority cities and the public school population is dramatically racial minorities and here we are having this conversation and where the black and the brown
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family parents, and so i will play the role of the black girl here, so when we talk about the failing public school, we are overwhelmingly talking about failures that impact the community that i live in. i live in the 7th ward of new orleans, and i don't like what i see happening in the kip school. i am distressed by the movement away from teachers unions that can actually fight for teachers. teaching for 15er yees at the hi -- 15 years at high performing universities like princeton, i have many who say i want to go into the teachers for america and none of them say, i want to be a teacher. it is like people are dipping in and out and not systemic reform. >> my nephew is in teach for america and staying to be a teacher and in fact in a kip school, and to me it is anti-intellectual and anti-empirical to say that the kip schools are bad, and the evidence is in, melissa, and we have 15 years of rock solid evidence that the top performing
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charter schools and not the crappy ones, but the top performing one and the crappy ones, i agree should be put out of business just as crappy conventional schools should be put out, but to criticize kip and teach for america and by the way, principals all over the country want the teach for america's energy in their schools. >> my critique for the teach for america, and i send my students there, and i think it is great for the young people who go in to be teachers, but it is designed to be a program for people who did want to be teachers but going off to do other things in the world and you need to go spend time in a urban classroom and change your perspective and that is incredibly important. >> it is designed to get the wealthier kids in the public school system. >> and then on to a career that educational reform afterbardwar >> i feel like we could spend the rest of the time talking about charter versus traditional public and not talk about the
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kids you are talking about right now which is to solve the problem for young people in the country to get the education they need to be prepared to be on fire about the learning and to want to participate in the democratic process and die to go to college, and across the board we are failing the students whether it is charter or traditional public, and if we spend the next four years fighting about that one point, we are going to miss it. we need to agree what sxel lens looks like in a school and mobilize around it with a lot of ways to do that and unless smart people like us can come around the table to get into the conversation and the getting into the weeds to create systems aligned for support, we are going to continue to fail. >> and you are talking the most sense, and that is what we have to get beyond the thing of corporate educational reform or me on my side union hacks, and that is the way romney is talking, and that is not helpful, but both sides have to tone down the rhetoric. >> and dan el y, -- daniel, i
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want to hear of the policies. >> well, we need to allow the teachers to teach if we want to inspire the love of learning in the lifelong intellectual passion. what the no child left behind has unleashed is the exact opposite. curriculums have been eviscerated. literature, american history, arts, music, science, and everything that is not being tested is being cut. even p.e. and recess. and so -- >> there is no school, but test prep. >> it is test prep boot camps for the poor, and liberal arts educations for wealthy we well-to-do districts and you talked about segregation in the intro of "the new york times," we have done some good work on that recently and long had segregated schools and what the high stakes test regime has done is to for mallize it into two totally different schools, liberal arts for the wealthy and test prep camps for the poor. >> lila, the last word on that. >> research shows that the tests
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are one metric for measuring progress and they measure the progress that records how you will do on the next test you take, but the grade point average and the noncognitive skills like being able to think and reflect on the learning go to college completion and higher learning, so we have to align our schools around more complicated metrics and these are not impossible things to measure, but it feels really important, and by the way, we are failing the rich kids, too, because we are not creating the thinkers and not looking for the next entrepreneurial skills, but look looking for the right answer and that is dangerous. >> thanks to everyone for being here and having this conversation for me, and this conversation is not going away and thank you to lila, and daniel and meghan and jonathan. much more on the issue on
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your favorite patient is here! [ dad ] i choose great taste. i choose boost. this was a historic week in egypt in what seems to be a step towards democracy, millions of egyptians went to choose a new president for the first time in generations. the first elected president since hosni mubarak was overthrown after the 30 years of rule in the arab spring. and in most accounts the arab television suggests that the islamic brotherhood's candidate is ahead of the tack in a dozen candidates and those results show him behind the former prime minister who is a veteran of mubarak's tenure. the two will likely face each other in the runoff in june. richard engel is the chief foreign correspondent and covered the revolution since last year and there now to cover
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the election. he joins us from cairo. hi, richard. >> well, first of all i have been on your show, to good to join you, and thanks to the having me on. >> i am excited to have you. these two candidates who ended up in the runoff are the most polarizing candidates the islamic brotherhood and the old mubarak regime and what does it mean for the election for egypt going forward? >> well, let me put it to you this way. here in the bureau in cairo last night several people here who were supporters of the revolution, who were out in tahrir square to topple mubarak when there was an air of enthusiasm and revolutionary zeal that everything was possible and several of them in the office were crying when they learned that these are the two people that they have to choose between. on one hand, muhammad morrissey from the muslim brotherhood who wants to impose islamic law which is something that many people in this country including
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muslims don't want to see. egypt has a devout population, and people go out and they pray and fast and they are muslims in the day-to-day life and they don't see any need to impose the islamic law in government. there are also 10 million christians in the country who worry that they could become permanent second-class citizens and on the other hand there is the other candidate who praises mubarak from the old regime and a prime minister, and presents himself as a strong man and the man who will crush dissent and not a revolutionary and not the kind of change that people went out to see. so democracy could either allow people to choose islamic law which a lot of people don't want or to choose another mubarak which is not what they expected either, so it is a question that some people are asking, be careful what you wish for. >> right. i want to ask exactly this, how does this happen that we have
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what might be a twitter generation that was part of driving mubarak out that stood there, captured the world's attention in tahrir square, and did they not show up to the polls? did this simply open up an opportunity for the polarities to vote? how does this happen? >> well, this twitter generation for one it is not that big. the people who are online here, english-speaking, using facebook, and the activists, it is a small percentage of this population, and most people live in the countryside. there is a great deal of illiteracy in egypt, and the mosque power is still very strong here, and the muslim brotherhood was able to use that force to mobilize. on the other hand, the old institutions, the party of mubarak and the military was able to unite behind shafiq and the revolutionaries and the twitter generation as you are
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call calling them, who are not that big to begin with are also disorganized, and they split the vote among a number of candidates and really took themselves out of the contest. that disorganization was helpful during the revolution, because the mubarak's security services didn't know what the d wio do w people who could spontaneously appear in one square and communicate in english with mobile handheld devices in another square, and that was very difficult for the security services to deal with, but it did not translate into political power, because they weren't organized. >> richard engel, thank you so much, and it is a lesson of how complicated democracy really is. thanks for being there. >> good to be with you. >> and coming up, things are better in cuba, at least some things. i bet you didn't think that i would say that. that is up next. ♪ i can do anything ♪ i can do anything today ♪ i can go anywhere
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last saturday in nerdland a guest had the nerve to call me
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castro, because of the wake of jpmorgan's losses and the facebook renouncing citizenship to allegedly avoid paying taxes and i talked about regulations and collective responsibility. ooh, the nervef of me. take a look. >> and that is something that we are all -- >> will and this is like something that castro would do in order to leave the country -- >> oh, wait -- >> and no, in order to leave the country -- >> don't do castro, but fred hayek or fred rand or anything, but not castro. >> well, it took a week, but i have decided, i am castro. what! you didn't think that i would say that? well, let me be clear. i'm not saying fidel castro and certainly not the brother raoul and you can see from the obvious gender differences and the lack of facial hair, i hope, but i am comfortable with you calling me
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ma maryella castro. and in the human rights watch, cuba is the only country that e remains the only country in latin america that represses virtually all forms of political dissent. and in 2010, there were 2,074 detained and in august there were 2,224 detained. and so mary ella called herself a cuban mafia, calling herself out. and i have to take notice when a country has a more progressive stance on one thing, and in this case, she is the director of the cuban national center for sex education in havana, and pushed for legalizing same-sex marriage, and it has not happened, but through the work, she has lobbied the cuban government to cover e sex
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reassignment surgery under the national health plan, and that is right, national health plan, and since it is not perfect, but it is a ste on the long road to fixing human rights. i'm not castro, but i have to take notice no matter how big or small with the progress. and there is a debate coming up whether or not president obama is a big spender. i have to say i hope he is. ♪ hey big spender ♪ ♪ ♪ pop goes the world ♪ it goes something like this ♪ everybody here is a friend of mine ♪ ♪ everybody, tell me, have you heard? ♪ ♪ pop goes the world ♪ pop goes the world [ female announcer ] pop in a whole new kind of clean with new tide pods...
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of how a shipping giant can befriend a forest may seem like the stuff of fairy tales. but if you take away the faces on the trees... take away the pixie dust. take away the singing animals, and the storybook narrator... [ man ] you're left with more electric trucks. more recycled shipping materials... and a growing number of lower emissions planes... which still makes for a pretty enchanted tale.
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♪ la la la [ man ] whoops, forgot one... [ male announcer ] sustainable solutions. fedex. solutions that matter. today is gonna be an ] important day for us.ns. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines are now powering some of america's biggest cities. siemens. answers. here in nerdland there are few things that we love more than numbers and charts and maybe you have noticed that we are giving you more today for example and we particularly love it when they go viral like the latest kayne and kim photos and that kind of viral.
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so we watch with nerdy glee with this chart. from marketwatch, the "wall street journal's" financial website made this on facebook. and it is rex nutting writes of all of the falsehoods told about barack obama, the biggest whopper is the one about his reckless spending spree, and although there was a big stimulus bill under obama, spending is at the lowest pace since dwight eisenhower brought the korean war to an end in the 1950s. and it is spelled out on website that says that since president obama has assumed office, his spending has accelerated at a pace without precedent in recent history. so a fan used this chart to get the facts out, and he clearly referred to the version where he pinched pennies to where romney
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says he is making it rain. now the frugal fanny has come under analysts who recrunched the numbers and found the math to be fuzzy. wait a minute, we are talking about s-p-e-n-d-i-n-g and that is five letters so why are parties treating it like a four-letter word, and that is spending and $80 billion worth to bring the auto industry out of the brink, and spending that is at the center of the moral social policy and why the united states is fourth among the fourth of standards of living and even though i did not mind that it is under dispute that my president is a big spender, for the those reasons. so with me at the table is steve kornacki a msnbc contributor and writer for the salon and joy-ann reid and joining me from stanford, connecticut, the author of that report rex
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nutti nutting. >> first, respond to your criticism that the president's spending simply reaches the wrong conclusion? >> well, people have quibbled with my numbers, but i still don't believe i got it wrong in a major way, because it does not change the story at all that spending accelerated before obama took office with the t.a.r.p. bailout and with the expansion of unemployment benefits and medicaid and all of the other things that happened when masses unemployment hits, but really since then, spending has been on a really flat trajectory. even though we have had the stimulus, and the auto bailouts and we've had lots of unemployment benefits paid out, spending is really not growing at all since he took office. >> and rex, it seems like the big issue in the numbers piece for you is about fiscal year 2009 and whether or not we should give those spending numbers to president bush or
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give them to president obama, because i would like to give them to president obama in the sense that i would like to see more spending and that is part of what fuels the recovery, but if you read nem them in the wayt you do, we give them to president p bush and it makes president obama seem more frugalle. >> well, it is tricky, because the first year of the presidential term is based on the budget that the predecessor adopted but 2009 was different we know because we had lots of extra spending that happened in the, you know, after obama came n and we had the stimulus, and we had another big appropriations bill that was passed under obama and not under bush. so it is very tricky to figure out, you know, who is responsible for what spending. i tried to be pretty careful about the way i looked at the number, and if you ask the cbo, they say $120 billion spent on the stimulus bill, and a lot of people think it is $800 billion, but a lot of it is in tax cuts and not spent until 2010 and
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2011 so in that one year there was $120 billion. i found another $40 billion that i could attribute to obama's decisions to increase spending, but others have said that maybe it is more like $200 or $250 billion, but whatever the number is, there is not very much extra spending in 2009 that obama was responsible for. >> all right. rex, let me back up here no the table, and so on the one hand, we are fighting about was he re really this frugal, and i keep making that ezra klein made this point recently that we were in a crisis if we spent. good for you to having done it and what is making this article go viral to be a big spender, and here is the case that we should be spending. >> well, i don't know why that is -- >> well, rex, let me bring it to the table. >> and this is unmasking the two p parties, because the democrats are timid about what they do and
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the keynesian spending that you do to get out of deep depressions is tried and true and worked for the great depression, but democrats are embarrassed about it, but the republicans don't care about the spending. i just don't buy, that and look at who are the two big spenders, reagan and bush two. they didn't like to spend on the social programs and they don't like specific spending, and not military spending or spending on war or tax cuts or look at paul ryan's budget that would balloon the deficit, because the right does not spending in deficits and a, they don't like barack obama and they don't like anything he does, and b, they don't like to spend on social programs. >> understatement of the year, they don't like barack obama. and is there an argument of why spending is good? >> well, i wonder if it is an impossible situation, because what happens that the deficit and no coincidence when the deficit is an issue in the
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american politics it is coinciding with an economic downturn and it means that÷r: people don't understand the details of what the deficit works or what it is, but associate it with the economy debt and scary sounding word and your family does not want to be in debt, and why would to government quantity to be in debt especially in a down economy. and example of back in the 1980s in rond reagan's presidency and what did he do? the deficits exploded under him, and there was a recession in the early 80s and the democrats made a lot of noise of the irresponsible spending of ronald reagan and by 1994, the economy had turned around, but the deficits were worse and reagan deficits were worse, but nobody cared and it, and walter mondale wanted to make it the issue, and wanted to raids the taxes, but nobody cared, because they only cared about the economy. >> and right, how people are fueling the households, and there is a horrible thing that happens when you try to pretend that the federal macro circumstance is the same as the household and you don't want the government to behave in the same
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way as the household. >> no, you don't and one thing thatis interesting in the steve's point is that also in the midst of the spending, he bailed out chrysler. and if you look at george bush, and under bush ii, it is also spending that increased, and to joy ann's point, it is more about what you spend it on. and for barack obama in the midst of an election year, you cannot talk about change as we v have in the midst of the past 30 years. >> so rex, in the role of somebody who is trying to give us more information, it is hard to watch that information piece become so highly politicized and folks at the table were saying, why would you make the argument one way or another, but is there any room left for us to talk
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about the informational piece, and what is and is not accurate about what the government is doing? >> well, i don't know, because i think that everybody looks at these numbers through the prism of how they want to see things. you know, the president was so happy to show that chart, and i just don't know why, because it re really looks like he didn't do enough to fight this recession as i point out in column, and even herbert hoover did more. i am not sure why he so proud of that record, except that i think that he has bought into the argument that, you know, debt is a bad thing for the government to have, and the point that you made earlier about a family, and a family is not the same as government. families want to contract the spending in down times, and that is when the government should be expanding its spending, because its spending is our income. >> and thank you, rex nutting, because i appreciate that. maybe that the president bought into it or the folks that have to return him to office have bought into it.
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rex, thank you for joining us, and we will come back touk about the ta economic circumstances that not only the families, but our states find themselves in, when we come back, because the states are fundamentally strapped for cash and they are swindling money out of their own residence. we will talk more about that and why we need more federal spending. more, not less. ♪ silly me ♪ why haven't i found another [ female announcer ] letting her home be turned into a training facility? ♪ this olympian's mom has been doing it for years. she's got bounty. in this lab demo, one sheet of new bounty leaves this surface cleaner than two sheets of the leading ordinary brand. bounty has trap and lock technology to soak up big spills and lock them in. let the spills begin. p&g. proud sponsor of the olympic games. like a squirrel stashes nuts,
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by any accounting of president obama's spending record would be incomplete without a line item for the $840 billion in stimulus money he signed off as a newly minted president in 2009. nearly $300 billion of those dollars were awarded to the
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states, but three years later, the states are still facing desperate times, and have been turning to desperate measures in many cases robbing peter to pay paul as propubly ka reported this week robbing victims of unlawful foreclosures to pay for downed budget deficits, and the budget oversight found that $2.5 billion was pocketed that was meant to be paid to struging homeowners. and also in states strapping drivers with new tolls because they cannot pay for the roads and digging deeper into debt to cover pension shortfalls or kicking dozenbes of kids off of medicare to cover the costs. joining us are joy-ann reid and jelani cobb, and when you look
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at the reduction of the federal support of spending, our states are absolutely cash strapped. should the governors be lobbying for more federal spending? >> look at what happened last time. you had governors like charlie crist and others who were for that stimulus money and they paid a huge political price for it. it was considered unpopular to the point where rick perry said in texas, we don't want your federal money and people were rejecting it. then it seems to me completely suicidal in a way, because you are laying off state workers and increasing unemployment in your own state which has a ripple effect throughout the economy and fewer people working and spending. >> and fewer people paying taxes to the state to do all of the things that your state needs revenue for. >> that is the amazing thing is watching unemployment reports because here is the private sector number of the jobs created, and then you to deduct the tens of thousands of public sector jobs coming off and then
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you start to add them up in a recession, and that really adds up. the other thing i wonder is that you look at the dire predicament of the states are in and i don't know if you can measure it, but what is the effect of the public employee in the state to go to make a big purchase to help the economy? no, i will hold the money back, because i don't know if my job is going to be there. >> this map had us all going nuts. this map shows that everything that you are seeing in yellow there, no those states when that foreclosure money showed up, somewhere between zero and 20% of it went to the actual homeowners and these yellow states are the ones who kept 80% or more of that money. here you have the final mortgage settlement and excited that the homeowners will get relief, and the states are like, sorry, we will need that, because we can't breathe here. >> well, one of the things that
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general and almost met faphoric with white working class voters who are finding themselves cash strapped with republican administration after republican administration and seeing it on the statewide level. one thing that is most fascinating about this is that people are talking about whether or not president obama will win in virginia again. virginia has the historically low unemployment rate, rye? because of the all of the federal money there, and somehow or another that story does not get out to the broader public. >> it is the ring of virginia that hugs d.c., right, where the folks are living and the virginia residents and working as d.c. bureaucrats and government jobs that boltsters that e kconomy. and looks like white class voter are about to make similar choices with a washington post/nbc poll that shows that white voters hit with the job loss in the past few years are
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more likely to say that mitt romney over president obama will do more to advance their economic interests, so you have something like 53% versus 38% of those who are in the middle-class, and who are struggling to stay in their class, and these are white working class voters who say that romney has the solution, but romney has austerity measure measures. >> it is the irony and the question of what's the matter with kansas? and the people hardest hit by this. and i look at ohio where they say that government jobs are not real jobs and they are not real work, and firefighters and police officers waking up to find the republican governor a, vilifying them, and b, trying to strip the union right, and this is a wakeup call in places like ohio and wisconsin and pennsylvania and michigan and you wonder if it is going to translate into the same voter choosing to stick with the president or going with the guy who is promising more of the same on a national level. it seems so counter intuitive when presented with the option of a businessman who when he was
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running a business laying off people is how you increase the stock price, and thinking that is the guy who will help me. it is not making sense. >> and the interesting part of the poll is when you ask which candidate will help wall street, and the financial institutions, romney. overwhelmingly, and which candidate is atuned to the interests of the rich, romney, so they get at the certain level everything that obama and the democrats are saying about romney and the approach to the economy, and yet there is an impulse that is sort of exists perpetual perpetually in the present tense, if you are anxious, you want to blame the person in charge and not explore context and that is what romney is building the campaign around, because the economic message is so incoherent in so many ways to cut the deficit and cut taxes and zap the revenue, and it has the appeal, because at some point people want to get rid of obama, and that is the poll. >> and is it a class maretivnar
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because he is best for wall street and best for me, and is that because we have a long tradition in the country of not believing that social class matters and whatever is good for rich folks is also good for me. >> i honestly thought that 2008 killed that. >> you thought that we had figured it out. but no. >> maybe not. >> i think that we have created. go ahead. >> and you are looking for a stockholm syndrome. >> yes sh, and we are captured the interest of it. >> and it is a culture of warship, wa worship saying that a job creators is a call to elevation. if you listen to rush's show, it is elevating the rich and you should respect them and they are inherently smarter and better and there is a group of people who have inculcated that and have a view of the e wealthy of better and they will help me somehow. >> one thing that i really do buy as the state is facing a real challenge is the medicaid question, and we don't have a lot of time, but i want to lay this out. the affordable health care act
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does potentially create an even larger fiscal crisis for states based on this medicaid question, and they are clearly panicked and starting to try to manage it at this moment, but if we have worship for the rich, we clearly don't have worship to the poor. and is there a reasonable way that states ought to be addressing the medicaid question? >> well, the broader solution, and the only solution that i can think of that would affect this and generally states in a situation like this with the recession is that if somehow we can get out of the recession in the next couple of years and you have a democratic congress and president, and the thing to do in a healthy economy is to pass a stabilizer bill in the future so next time there is a recession, there is something on the books to say, this is the money to kick to the states and this is how we will go through it and so you don't have to do it in the time of the recession to say it is going to expand, but it will automatic cli happen. >> this one is just killing me, so later this hour, campaign
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surrogates and why it is risky to speak on be hhalf of your ow candidate. and the making of the next generation of voters, and we dig into the vault. yoo-hoo. hello. it's water from the drinking fountain at the mall. [ male announcer ] great tasting tap water can come from any faucet anywhere. the brita bottle with the filter inside.
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she's a dietitian and she suggested i try boost complete nutritional drink to help get the nutrition i was missing. now i drink it every day, and i love the great taste. [ female announcer ] boost has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to help keep bones strong and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a delicious taste. your favorite patient is here! [ dad ] i choose great taste. i choose boost. to provide a better benefits package... oahhh! [ male announcer ] it made a big splash with the employees. [ duck yelling ] [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] ...forbusiness.com. ♪ ha ha! ♪ we charge everything else... maybe it's time to recharge the human battery. only the beautyrest recharge sleep system combines the comfort of aircool memory foam layered on top of beautyrest pocketed coils
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to promote proper sleeping posture all night long. the revolutionary recharge sleep system from beautyrest... it's you, fully charged. it was one of the most fundamental and absolute shifts of of the political affiliation in american history, and since the civil war and reconstruction african-americans were dedicated to the party of lincoln, but in 1965, president lyndon johnson severed that commitment by signing the voter rights act into law and it was a still growing civil rights for african-american and one that spawned one of the greatest political leadership, and that has morphed from those who march on the street to those who learn in ivory towers and from local police to those who face challenges to the very identity. this week, the nerdland crew dug into the vault to witness that
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political evolution and how it was displayed on the national stage. take a listen to the voices of prime time speakers at democratic national conventions beginning in the 1970s. >> i feel that notwithstanding the past that my presence here is one additional bitf of evidence that the american dream need not forever be deferred. >> america's not like a blanket, one piece of unbroken cloth, the same color, the same texture, the same size. america is more like a quilt. many patches, many pieces, many colors, many sizes, all woven and held together by a common thread. >> but i also stand here this evening representing a new generation. a generation committed to the ideals of the past, but inspired by unshakable confidence in our
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future. >> as a whole generation of young leaders that have come forward across this country that stand on integrity and stand on their tradition. >> there is not a black america and a white america and latino america, and asian america, and there's the united states of america. >> that guy had quite a role when he gave an encore performance at the dnc four years later. coming up, it has been a rough week for that new generation of leader leaders, and with one of the brightest stars becoming the bain of the other's existence, and that is next. [ male announcer ] if paula ebert had her way, she would help her child. go! goooo! [ male announcer ] with everything. but instead she gives him capri sun super-v. with one combined serving of fruits and vegetables. new capri sun super-v. mcallen, texas. in here, heavy rental equipment in the middle of nowhere,
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got the mirrors all adjusted? you can see everything ok? just stay off the freeways, all right? i don't want you going out on those yet. mmm-hmm. and just leave your phone in your purse. i don't want you texting, all right? daddy...ok! ok, here you go. be careful. thanks dad. call me -- but not while you're driving. ♪ [ dad ] we knew this day was coming. that's why we bought a subaru. ♪ it may not be the latest reality tv sensation, but folks, it seems with rein the season of surrogates gone wild. this week mitt romney's campaign seized on a trend they called
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more and more democrats are distancing themselves from obama's attacks. in a press release the republican campaign named senator chuck schumer and deval patrick, and kirsten gillibrand of those who refuse to get in line. and what left the rm noi campaign salivating? not backing the president. and rising stars on the outs with the obama campaign, and let me refresh your memory of what cory booker, newark's major said on "meet the press." >> i will not be here to indict the totality of the record. if you look at at bain's record, they have done a lot the support the businesses, and this is nauseating to me on both sides and nauseating to the american public and enough is enough. stop attacking the private eq equity or jeremiah wright, and it is either going to be a campaign about this crap or a
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campaign to clear up some of the issues in the country. >> and that night, david axelrod said that booker was wrong. they have a petition saying, i stand with cory, and creating job creation. you know that mayor booker is hurt that his words are fodder for the rnc campaigning and what was he talking about? the negativity of the campaign ads or the value of private e i equity or both? does it speak for the possibility that the new generation of black politicians see and speak about things differently, and they don't fall in line with the established guard, and do they risk being put out? back at the stable are steve kornacki and joy-ann reid, and jelani cobb who is author of a piece in the "new yorker" magazine of the "new black politician." and this is fascinating to
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watch, and we asked earlier in the show, why does anybody care what the mayor of newark cares about the presidential election, but the fact is that this particular mayor of newark is a big deal. >> well, he a bigger deal outside of newark than he is inside of newark which is the open secret of cory booker. what we are looking at here is whether or not he is metaphorical of that generation of new black poll iticians thats haro heralded around the time that he was barack obama coming up, and comparing him to archer davis in alabama and other individuals, and between them only president obama and cory booker remained in elective office. fenti lost historically the black vote in washington, d.c., and ar chur davis made a gubernatorial bid in which the african-americans were 50% of the primary voters and he did not get the black voters in
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alabama, and looking at what cory booker's re-election campaign was like in 2010, and he won, but not by the numbers he was expect ed to win, and he did not win the black vote. that says a lot about where his allegiances may be or where the future may lie as a politician, and maybe this is what we saw on "meet the press." >> and ate was shoit was a shocf you have been asleep that the mayor of newark was on "meet the press" which is shocking and then the mayor of newark was on tv defending private equity reforms. that is shocking. >> and i remember when he ran against sharp jones -- >> and a spike lee movie. >> yes, so interesting that they made a story about it, and you had sharpe james who was basically a newark life and here yesterday and today and tomorrow. and what did booker in, during
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that race, he was not here yesterday and h is here now and probably not tomorrow, and he try tried something new. and typically the politicians in newark are doomed statewide in new jersey. you can win a mayor's job or a seat in congress, but that is it. you are a suburban taxpayer and your money is wasted in newark. he is self-built, and had the connections from the yale, and the stanford and the wall street world and all of this, and those people were comfortable with him from the beginning and he went into knnewark to create a story that you could look at it cynically that would be appealing to the suburban audience and the appealing of the high-end donor audience and cultivated it better than anybody had seen in new jersey politics. they funded 25% of the money in 2002 in that campaign came from wall street, and all of the way back then. >> and that is the most cynical story, right? it is easy to do to cory this week, because he is such a nice punching bag based on the story,
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but the nice story the new generation of black politicians bringing the resources that are not available to a sharpe james or city of newark so that a mayor of newark can end up on "meet the press" and talk about urban reform, and there are two ways to read that. >> well, the issue that we at the grio had our writer talk to cory booker and ask him specifically did bain capital and he said they have a good story to tell, too, did they create jobs in newark? and the answer is no. so he is talking about a story that has nothing to do with newark and when he is defending private equity, it is the donors and not an sbi entity to the community, and i don't believe he didn't feel it. he believed every word, and he was a passionate defender of private equity, because he believes it. >> and now, let's look at the youtube video in a moment.
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>> the hostage video? >> let me be clear. mitt romney has made his business record a centerpiece of the campaign, and he has talked about himself as a job creator, and therefore, it is reasonable and in fact, i encourage it for the obama campaign to examine that record and to discuss it. i have no problem with that. >> he is like, let me speak clear and you can tweet me here and i don't like mitt romney, and i'm down for the president. >> the only thing missing from that video is the guy in the background shouting "death to america." >> no, no, no. but it does, and if i cannot, if i cannot count on the mayor of new york to be the champion of blue collar workers and if i can't say that there is at least some few places where local working class people still control the arm of government still have their voice, and then is that the end?
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i mean, is this version of populist democracy just over? >> well, to jelani's point, you can count on that starting in the year 2014, because that is the next newark e llection and like he said, he was running in 2010 booker was running against guy under sealed federal indictment, and booker had millions of dollars and booker won this thing with 58% of the vote, and in 2014, somebody is going to take a serious run at him if he runs again, and the thinking is that what everybody has said about booker, he will use it for two terms and then go statewide and everybody is saying that in 2014 he wants to go after frank lautenberg and up and out for him. and that is 2014. >> that is for him to "meet the press" is the siren call to all of the potential booker challengers? >> well, it crystallizes the tension that james sharp tapped into when he was vulnerable and said, looking i'm one of you, and cory booker isn't, and i reflect your values and cory booker doesn't. that is what the "meet the
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press" interview crystallizes. >> well, we will stop beating up on cory booker and beat up on bain and ask if private equity is the thing to attack, and we will answer that coming up after the break. ♪ money money money with the spark cash card from capital one, olaf's pizza palace gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! pizza!!!!! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! put it on my spark card! [ high-pitched ] nice doin' business with you! [ garth ] why settle for less? great businesses deserve the most rewards! awesome!!! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet?
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♪ i don't wanna be right [ record scratch ] what?! it's not bad for you. it just tastes that way. [ female announcer ] honey nut cheerios cereal -- heart-healthy, whole grain oats. you can't go wrong loving it. i happen to believe that having been in the private sector for 25 years gives me a perspective on how jobs are created where like somebody who has never spent a day in the private sector does not understand. >> and not fair to say that the president has not spent is a day, because he was an ice kr cream scooper at baskin-robbins, but that having been said, there is a question of private sector experience counts as a quality for being the president of the united states, and to talk about that are back at the table, is alon's steve karnak ki, and joy
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ann reed, and jelani cobb. and romney has put bain on the table and saying i like to talk about myself as a job creator, but even if bain were not private equity and people had not been laid off, is being a job creator in the private sector an actual accomplishment that we ought to account for when voting for president? >> it is one of my favorite topics, and i'm so glad that you brought it up, because it is a bugaboo because i never understood how people in polls give business experience as a positive for being in the white house, but it does not translate. being in business and your job is to create profit, and if that means laying everybody off that you can and reducing the workforce and cutting wages, that is what you do, but being in government is not about that. it is not about creating profit, government involves caring for the people who are the least and caring for the poor and figuring out what to do about the elderly and infrastructure and investing in things that won't make a
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profit, and eisenhower and the railways and that was not profitable, and not an investment of government. >> this is not a small point that if in fact, you know, we look at the bain record and the value is whether or not he created profit, romney is good at it. he just is, and ak chactually v good at making money, and making profits, but that isn't in fact what government is meant to be up to. >> and in the other question, you have the unique background and does that give you special policy insight? do you have an agenda that comes out of your experience in the private sector that is going to be different than anything that is on the table right now in national politics, and if you look at what romney is offering, he is offering that something that the republicans in congress are now offering and he has said that he wants to sign off on the paul ryan budget plan and he believes it is good for the country's future and it is irrelevant that he has a private sector background, because he would be the republican president to sign the republican budget plan and you look at it on the other side, and okay, president obama does not have the private sector experience
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that mitt romney does, and look at what president obama is saying about the taxes, and the tax rates on the rich, and romney will say it kills jobs and obama has put himself in the same camp as warren buffett who knows something about the private sector and they have a same policy vision there, so i don't see how romney's background translates to anything unique from the policy standpoint and judging by what he did in massachusetts and with the republican congress is a lot more relevant. >> well, this is one thing that the ceos tend to get frustrated about in the land of the government sector is that being president is not like being coo of america, and that is not what the job is and you can't hire and fire the congress at will, and there are plenty of people who would like to, and in fact, some of the most effective presidents were those who were great legislators and we think of master of the senate lyndon johnson and not because he was a great ceo who could tell people what to do but because he could navigate the political waters, and it seems that mitt romney is not adept at the navigation of
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the political world. >> well, one of the things that this highlights is just the shortened attention span of the public and the immediate am thesia, because it was not all that long ago that we were hailing george w. bush as the first mba president, and the first president with an mba and we see how well that played out in terms of the u.s. economy. and the other thing i think about this is in the rhetorical side of it in terms of using the term job creator implies that there should be a certain degree of gratitude that people create jobs as a kind of largess and the rest of us are the unworthy recipients of their goodwill. it just underscores the extent to which we have moved away from the culture in which we thought that the backbone of the country was the working people. we have allowed the fire unions and teachers and police and so on to be deem nmonized in terms the public pensions, and the dynamic of whether the country
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was expand org growing in the 1950s and '60s. >> when i am out on the road i hear from folks who love ed schultz' show and the main thing they love about it is that he keeps making the argument that the backbone of america are the workers and that jobs are not a gift to us, but jobs are what we do to build the country and create the profits for everybody el else, and will we talk about bain and is bain going to be effective whether it is good or bad or allowable and effective tool in the election? >> well, it is no going anywhere and the bain ads were built on what newt gingrich's super pac were doing in the primary and obviously effective argument, and to that john makes a good point because the working person has become the villain and incredible when the tea party started that their villain was not wall street, but the villain was the potential that the homeowners could get free money from the government. that is how they have started and so we have gotten into the thing of villainizing the homeowners under water and it is
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instead of rosie the riveter on the posters in the 40s, but it is like the guy who owned the factory, and it does not make any sense. >> i would say that in terms of the will at work, there is an interesting finding in the nbc poll that came out this week, because i have been wondering the same thing and we have heard about bain and not moving anything else, and maybe it is not working, but it found that 9% of the voters said they have heard of bain and have a positive view of it and 19 said they have heard of it and have a negative view and 60% sort of heard of it and don't have a view, so it suggests that there are a lot of people out there of the ratio of the people who don't know about it, and the people who can look at it and come to the conclusion that the obama campaign is trying to get them to and it is fundamental and you to braeak the link of those associates private sector experience with economic competence and you have to break that. >> and the notion that there is a learning curve, and that is what you want in a campaign is that you want the place where people have not yet formed
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conclusive opinions, because you can teach it to them what you want them to know. in a moment, the story of one man who hit bottom and now on top. but first, it is time for the preview of alex witt, but that is not alex, that is craig melvin. >> good morning, melissa harris-perry, good to see you. top of the hour, strange happenings at the john edwards' trial, and court watchers say they have never seen anything like it. and we will talk to somebody who is there and witnessed it all. and philadelphia mayor michael nutter took on mitt romney when the gop hopeful came to town and we will talk to the mayor and ask him if anything constructive came out of mitt romney's visit, and the tenor of the presidential campaign is already getting heated a wnd , and we he months to go, and in "strategy talk" we will talk about how it is going to shape up. and the best in politics including rachel maddow telling us about the plastic soldier on the cover of the best selling new book. all of that is at the top of the hour, and now melissa, back the
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you. >> it is hot in election, and this is joy for the rest of us who cover this. >> and where do we go from here? >> and it is better and better and like the edwards' trial. thanks, craig. up next from dealing drugs to visiting the white house. one young man's remarkable journey of personal growth. he is our foot soldier. mariah is the founder of zit citrus lane. customers sign up for a skrupgs and once a month get a surprise package of baby products. i stead of hiring someone, she did her own market research, focus groups, testing and surveys to fine-tune her products and packaging. if you're one of those folks who gets heartburn and then treats day after day... well, shoot, that's like checking on your burgers after they're burnt! [ male announcer ] treat your frequent heartburn by blocking the acid with prilosec otc. and don't get heartburn in the first place! [ male announcer ] one pill a day. 24 hours. zero heartburn.
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there are many ways to refer to our young people who lose their way. some call them at-risk or, worse, problems. this week, our foot soldier uses the term "disconnected" to describe himself. he once dropped out of high school, became a parent in his late teens. he both sold and used drugs. he's been shot three times. his older brother and cousin were murdered. 22-year-old ryan dalton's above fi reads like the very definition of disconnected youth. the hand he was dealt was not easy. he was six of 11 children in a family without a father, a family forced to flee new
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orleans for houston when ryan was 15 and hurricane katrina struck in 2005. he returned to new orleans years later alone. but he dropped out of college, became a parent, began dealing and using drugs. his prospects didn't look good. but his sister wasn't ready to give up. she stepped in and helped to change his life when she returned ryan on to cafe reconcile. it's a non-profit soul food restaurant located in central city new orleans which trains disconnected youth, offering them both culinary and life skills in a 12-week program. ryan completed the program in 2009 and since then has done much more than stay on the straight and narrow. he turned his life from disconnected to productive by reimagining the very meaning of urban renewal. he saw that it had to be more about rebuilding homes and reopening businesses.
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it had to be about the renewal of people, human beings and once he saw this, ryan got to work. after graduating from cafe reconcile, ryan worked for seven months at the new orleans school of cooking and now he's doing the floor training at the cafe. he's a national youth ambassador with the youth leadership institute and he's back in college pursuing a business degree. so ryan is keeping himself busy, which is the very core of his idea up for consideration in the spark opportunity challenge, a digitale jobs and opportunities. ryan's idea? the p.u.s.h. project would address idleness, the greater roo cause of problems, he says, including drug use and violence. he'd do that by making use of underutilized parks in the summer. he can explain it even better than me. >> by doing that, we plan to start summer camps and after-school programs which would keep the education
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flowing, not annual would it keep the education flowing but it would also create employment opportunities for camp counselors or camp cultures or whatever it may be. >> talk about reimagining a job creator. the capper to all this is that ryan was one of three young people chosen to go to the white house summit on june 4th to discuss community solutions for youth like him. youth like he used to be. we hope he keeps making all those connections. have fun at the white house, ryan. that's our show for today. thank you to our panel for stick around. thanks for watching. see you tomorrow morning. margaret cho is coming back to the table. coming up right now is "weekends with alex witt."
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i'm mike utsler, and it's my job to make sure we keep making progress in the gulf. the twenty billion dollars bp committed has helped fund economic and environmental recovery. another fourteen billion dollars has been spent on response and cleanup. long-term, bp's made a five hundred million dollar commitment to the gulf of mexico research initiative... to support ten years of independent scientific research on the environment. results will continue to be shared with the public. and we're making sure people know that the gulf is open for business - the beaches are beautiful, the seafood is delicious. last year, many areas even reported record tourism seasons. the progress continues, but that doesn't mean our job is done. bp's still here, and we're still committed to seeing this through. yoo-hoo. hello. it's water from the drinking fountain at the mall. [ male announcer ] great tasting tap water can come from any faucet anywhere.
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welcome to "weekends with alex witt." i'm craig melvin. alex is off. here are some of the first five stories trending this hour. strange happenings at the john edwards trial, you might not believe it. also, the pope's butler arrested. gas prices and politics. space history made again. and beyonce is among the top stories trending. we'll explain why in just a few minutes. developing now within the hour, the latest advisory on subtropical storm beryl off the coast. jennifer carfagno has the latest. >> as beryl continues to move towards the southwest, we'll show you what it looks like. winds at 45 miles per hour. and it's fairly far offshore. it's about 230 miles off the coast. as we track it for it and show

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